Mission Hills Group – China’s leading golf brand and a driving force behind the country’s sports and leisure industry – announces it will start construction this summer on a “fantasy golf course” at its Hainan Island resort.
Award-winning American golf course architecture firm Schmidt-Curley Design will create a full-scale, mini-golf experience at family-friendly Mission Hills Hainan. Plans include:
- 400-yard tee-to-green reproduction of the Great Wall
- Par 3 playing over a depression filled with replica terra cotta warriors
- Tee shot from a grotto through a waterfall on a jungle-themed hole
- Par 3 where large fans buffet players with strong winds
- Par 5 weaving through towering Mayan ruins
- Volcano-themed par 3 with two options: 1) a very difficult shot to a tiny green surrounded by lava rock, or 2) playing into a raised volcano mound much closer to the tee where a pipe sends the ball to the green
- Island-green par 3 where the “lake” is an 80-meter-wide noodle bowl with 75-meter-long chopsticks
Three holes (“Great Wall,” “Noodle Bowl,” and “Riches to Ruins”) are the handiwork of winners from a worldwide fantasy design contest held last year. A 2014 opening is anticipated.
“As the leader of China’s golf boom and developer of 22 world-class courses, our properties have staged some of the biggest global events and hosted the game’s best players,” says Dr. Ken Chu, Chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group. “The fantasy course will be a fun alternative for families, novices, and children on holiday in sunny, warm Haikou.”
“Unlike mini-golf on artificial grass, the fantasy course is played at full-scale with standard equipment on real turf,” says Brian Curley of Schmidt-Curley Design. “Other regulation courses frame holes with trees, bunkers and lakes; this course will incorporate many unique visuals while still requiring players to execute full shots and hole putts.”
Curley, with long-time partner Lee Schmidt, was named 2011’s “Architect of the Year” by GOLF Magazine andAsian Golf Monthly’s “Best Golf Course Architects.”
As one of 10 layouts at the new Mission Hills Hainan – including the critically-acclaimed Lava Fields and Blackstone, host of the 2011 World Cup of Golf – the fantasy course presents yet another enticing option for resort visitors.
Corporate sponsors are already lining up to be associated with this refreshing approach to the sport.
“Golf is typically a very conservative, tradition-filledgame, yet there are many calls to make it more ‘fun,’” says Dr. Chu. “We are taking this desire for change to the extreme, feeling many golfers will seek out this new adventure and, while here, play our other wonderful courses.”
He adds: “Due to its distinctiveness, we’re taking our time to ensure every detail is perfect, wild and wildly enjoyable.”
Animations illustrating some of the ‘Fantasy’ holes have been created by HK Golf, a studio founded by Andrew Harris and Juris Kalinka with offices in the UK and Latvia.
Andrew Harris explains: “Having been approached by Brian Curley of Schmidt-Curley to visualise their design for the Fantasy Course at Mission Hills, we created high-definition (HD) animations and computer generated images (CGIs) for three holes (“Great Wall,” “Noodle Bowl,” and “Riches to Ruins”).
“Working from a combination of sketches, CAD files and references (of the great wall, noodles and Mayan temples) we created a detailed 3d model which was used to generate the CGIs and animations for each hole.
“The CGIs and animations have since been used to great effect, publicising the Fantasy Course beyond the golf community, appearing on websites and news channels including CNN, ESPN and across social media networks. After all it isn’t easy to imagine what an 80m wide noodle bowl with island green will look like without seeing it!”
The animations can be seen at the following links:
- Great Wall – http://vimeo.com/hkgolf/mission-hills-great-wall
- Noodle Bowl – http://vimeo.com/hkgolf/mission-hills-noodle-bowl
- Riches to Ruins – http://vimeo.com/hkgolf/mission-hills-riches-to-ruin
Since 2008 HK Golf has worked with a number of talented golf course architects including Arnold Palmer Design, Faldo Design, Robert Trent Jones II and Schmidt-Curley and completed projects for clients around the world including China, Russia, Brazil, USA, Cambodia and the UK.
The work is used for marketing new courses, selling memberships at existing courses, raising investment and selling real estate off plan.
HK Golf www.hkgolf.co.uk
Schmidt-Curley Design www.schmidt-curley.com
Mission Hills Hainan www.missionhillschina.com